Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
Participation in robotics programs has drawn many young people to STEM education and careers. Robotics present a rich multi-disciplinary learning experience that touches upon several STEM disciplines including electronics, controls, fabrication, and computer programming. Many robotics programs are mission based, involving competition with other robots. We believe that the appeal of robots can be broadened even further by showing how robots can solve important problems. Mission-based robots show off the capabilities of robots but may not spur the imagination into coming up with ways to use robots to solve problems.
Our team developed two educational robotic platforms that cost less than $1000: an underwater glider called GUPPIE and a surface electromyography (sEMG)–controlled manipulator called Neu-pulator. GUPPIE is an underwater robot that has application in monitoring and inspection of the environment, thus introducing the concept of robots as co-explorers in everyday life. Neu-pulator is a human-interactive robot that uses electrical activity of human muscles to move a manipulator. It introduces students to assistive robots, which are a class of co-robots that amplify or compensate for human capabilities. We hypothesize that meaningful contexts and hands-on learning with these types of robotic platforms will broaden impact to diverse audiences and increase interest in critical STEM areas.
Our university hosts summer educational camps for middle and high school aged students. For the past three summers, GUPPIE and Neu-pulator were introduced to middle and high school boys and girls in week-long summer camps. We collected data from pre and post-camp surveys and from daily activity surveys. From the data we investigated what students imagine robots to be useful for, what interests them about robotics, what robotics activities increase their interest and why, and confidence in doing robotics activities. We compare the results for boys and girls in single sex and mixed sex camps and highlight differences.
Miller, M., & Ziaeefard, S., & Page, B. R., & Knop, L. N., & Aramizo Ribeiro, G., & Rastgaar, M., & Mahmoudian, N. (2018, June), Monitoring Motivation Factors for Girls in Summer Robotics Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30821
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